Unusual Halos are halos that come with unique, strange or unusual shapes, designs, and/or colors, which helps distinguish them from the basic ring-shaped yellow/white halos commonly found in older religious legends. Certain designs of halos can be matched with characters depending on their appearances, personalities and traits.
There are good reasons for why these exist. Most of the time, it's to indicate whoever is wearing them are supernatural in origin, usually for the sake of uniqueness, divinity and awesomeness, or to show how dangerous, bizarre and creepy the entity is. The variation of halo designs can also show Rule of Symbolism, and in some cases, halos can change colors to show a character's elemental affinity, moral alignment or current emotion.
In order to qualify, the halo must fulfill one of these criteria:
1. Shapes (and Textures): A halo can be triangle-shaped, star-shaped, fractured, broken, etc. Usually used to depict unusual angels, (literal) broken angels, robots or similar entities.
2. Colors: A halo can be vividly colorful or gritty. Fallen angels or dark angels in fiction usually have purple, black or red halos (though there are also anti-heroic examples). Robots and supernatural (usually divine) creatures have neon blue, green, etc. (holographic) halos. Only having yellow (or similar) colored halo doesn't qualify. However, if the ring-shaped halo has any color but yellow/white, then it qualifies.
3. Ornaments/Decorations: The halo has a diamond, flame, ice, crystals, etc. in the hollow center of or on the halo itself.
Compare and contrast Holy Halo (which describes holy halos in general and for unholy entities, which are intended for holiness or awesomeness) and Background Halo (which isn't a literal halo, but a background which makes someone appear with a halo). See also Our Angels Are Different, Fallen Angel, Eldritch Abomination, Our Monsters Are Weird, Our Dragons Are Different, Our Demons Are Different and Our Gods Are Different.
- Chainsaw Man: After Makima reveals herself to be the Control Devil, she survives being shot in the head and a halo made of her brain matter forms above it.
- Interspecies Reviewers: Crim is an angel that fell to Earth and had his halo broken. Said halo, floating directly above his scalp, has a notch missing, looking like someone took a bite out of a vanilla-frosted donut.
- Queen Millennia: The "wisdom ring" of light stays above Larela's head and glows when she's deep in thought. Another one is visible beneath her when she's floating around.
- Traditional Christian art uses various symbolic haloes. For example, representations of God the Father will often have triangular haloes, representing the Trinity. Christ often has a halo that contains a cross. In rare cases, unusually saintly living people will have square haloes.
- These will occasionally appear in the artworks of Keith Thompson:
- The Apollonian Wight is perpetually backdropped by the sun no matter where it goes, forming an especially eldritch-looking halo.
- The Lili, as the immortal children of Adam and Lilith, sports a trapezoidal halo with long tines of light emanating from each corner - making it look like a crown.
- The Pestilential Advent features the wandering knight's "passenger" with a halo of three interlinked rings.
- The Prince With The Turquoise Head sports a halo bordered with sharp spines vaguely reminiscent of a sea urchin.
- The Saint Of Parasites has a pitch-black halo wreathed in orange flame.
- Every halo in Raphael's Disputation of the Holy Sacrament is circular except for one: God the Father's. His is a cube behind His head where the bottom is cut off just so that it almost looks like a triangle, referencing the doctrine of the Trinity. The uniqueness here is a visual cue that God the Father (per Raphael's theology) is not a human like the others depicted in the painting.
- In some depictions, Judas Iscariot is set apart from the saintly disciples of Jesus by a black halo, indicating that he is the one amongst them to be damned.
- In the Rider-Waites tarot deck, and many other tarot decks that take inspiration from its symbolism, The Magician and the woman in Strength have infinity symbols for haloes.
- The Dresden Files: Hades' head is orbited by tiny motes of mordite — the stuff of anti-life made manifest, which usually disintegrates any living thing nearby. The effect gives Harry a rare Sarcasm Failure.
- Secret Histories: Truman has inserted steel rods into his brain, joined by a large steel ring over his head, which he claims unlocks the true power of the human mind.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- Warhammer 40,000: Even thoroughly evil Chaos Space Marines and Daemons sometimes have halos, demonstrating their piety and devotion to their God of Evil. Usually these are shaped to echo the eight-pointed Star of Chaos.
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: Morningstar had a yellow halo with protrusions that resemble spikes. After he became a Darklord, his halo turned red, and became a symbol of his rebellion, being granted to other fallen angels who serve his cause.
- Arknights: The Sankta race are a mortal race which look similar to Christian angels. There are some notable oddities among those who have normal white circle haloes:
- Executor has his halo clipped with a tech device, which emphasizes how seemingly robotic he is in comparison to other characters.
- Mostima, who is also an Infectednote , has a black halo, which quite fits her, since she was named from a Fallen Angel in certain ancient archives (however, this also counts as Ironic Name, since Mostima in the game is a good guy).
- Cecelia, who is a Child of Two Worlds birthed from a Sankta mother and Sarkaz father, a walking heresy stemming from being the product of a forbidden romance. To denote this status, her halo is seemingly half-melted and far dimmer than other Sankta, though not as black as Mostima, since Cecelia is not fallen.
- The angels' halos are indicative of their hierarchy and have increasingly more complex shapes the higher their ranking is. The most basic halo consists of a circle surrounded a pair of semi-circles; whereas a goddess' halo has an intricate, overly ornate design that also incorporates wing-like spikes to symbolize the entity's imponence.
- Aside from the Halos that serve as the game's currency, the angels of Paradiso all each have their own elaborately designed halo. Jubileus, the leader of Paradiso, sports the most impressive-looking one. That said, Rodin — your weapon-maker and item vendor — reveals in a Superboss fight that he is a Fallen Angel, and the Halos you collect throughout the game allow him to regain his angelic form. His halo sports the same design as Jubileus.
- Bendy and the Ink Machine: One of the games antagonists, Twisted Alice, has a semi broken halo that appears to be partially fused with her head.
- Blue Archive: All heroines have strange-looking halos, some of them with different colors, motifs and shapes.
- Darkest Dungeon: When a character's Sanity Meter runs out and they become Afflicted, the game's Arc Symbol of a black arc with five evenly-spaced lines pointing downwards appears above them as a halo while the game announces what flavor of madness the character has been cursed with. On the rare occasions that the Sanity Meter runs out and the character instead becomes Virtuous, a golden Holy Halo appears above them instead.
- The villains of Devil May Cry 4 are an organization of Knight Templars slamming the Light Is Not Good button as hard as they can, and use demonic power to blindly ape the appearance of angels, including mockeries of halos. Credo uses a pair of asymmetrical horns to give himself one, while Agnus uses insect antennae. Sanctus surrounds himself in glowing broken circles to give himself the illusion of divinity, while the organization's ultimate weapon, the Savior, is backed by a jagged broken circle surrounded by a second semicircle.
- In the Diablo series, Imperius, the leader of the Council of Angels, has a crown-like metal halo that matches the design of his 24-Hour Armor. The other angels generally don't have halos.
- Final Fantasy IX: The infamous Final Boss, Necron, sports three halos: one affixed to his head like a crown, and two progressively larger ones revolving around it like a nucleus; for good measure, the latter two continuously phase through his neck and torso. All three appear to have been carved from the same stone-like substance as the rest of him.
- Final Fantasy XIV: Several of the Twelve are depicted with these: Byregot has a ring of nails hovering behind his head, Rhalgr has four halos that serve as a Portal Network, and Thal has a semi-circle of smaller halos that emit jets of flame like Bunsen burners.
- Flight Rising: 2018's small festival apparel items consisted of 11 of these as wearables for player-owned dragons, all circular but with colors and flourishes matching the 11 elemental flights. For example, Plague's halo features teeth, eyes, and rotting flesh.
- Genshin Impact: Paimon (pictured above) has a floating gold halo with an abstract symbol in its center. It vaguely resembles a humanoid figure with antlers or wings extending from their head, and its design elements are similar to those of the statues that are Healing Checkpoints in the game.
- Guilty Gear: Jack O' Valentine has a glowing circular halo with four pointy triangles.
- MementoMori: AFKRPG: All of the Witches of Qlipha have a halo with an appearance corresponding to their curses. For example, Rusalka as the Witch of Torrential Sorrow, has a fish-shaped water halo corresponding to her Curse of Rain.
- Miku Monogatari: Yume to Taisetsu na Mono : The boss of Stage 3 - 6 is an Eldritch Abomination who has a green halo above its "head".
- The Legend of Dragoon: The Archangel of the Winglies - on top of sporting multiple wings and arms - also has a jet of orange flames for a halo.
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: As The Imprisoned grows in strength, it grows new appendages to aid its attempts to escape. The last of them is a spiky red and black halo over its head, granting it the ability to fly.
- Namu Amida Butsu! -UTENA-: Bishamonten has a halo shaped like the wheel of reincarnation.
- Persona 5: Yaldabaoth, the Big Bad and Greater-Scope Villain of the game, sports a halo above his head that is made of angelic wings linked through a ring. The player's Ultimate Persona, Satanael, sports a similar halo made of bat / demon wings.
- Pokémon: Shedinja has an incomplete halo over its head, shaped like a stylized crescent. Its cross-section is also crescent-shaped.
- Puyo Puyo!! Quest: The School of Darkness council members, who are all dark angels, have purple ring-shaped halos. They're Psycho Rangers (but not outright enemies) to the School of Light's angel council members.
- World of Warcraft has several distinct "Halos" that are offered up as either this in Cool Crown or Anti-Gravity Clothing forms, the only definitive Halo that is in the game is the Crown Of The Fire Festival: a pointed Halo wreathed in fire that Players can get during the Midsummer Fire Festival in-game Holiday: rewarded by capturing all three bonfire Flames from the players' opposing factions' capital cities as a Bragging Rights Reward.
- The default version of an angelic Virtual YouTuber Kanata Amane from has a golden four-edged star-shaped halo.
- IRyS the angel-demon Nephilim has a halo that consists of three small stars that can turn black or white.
- Ouro Kronii's "halo" is a large clock hovering over her head, with three arms representing the passage of time in hours, minutes, and seconds. Each of the arms move at different speeds like a functional clock, but she can turn it off if it's too distracting. She also has the option of using a smaller scale one, or remove it entirely.
- Madness Combat: Jesus' gold halo turns out to be a physical object that grants or enhances his supernatural abilities. When the Auditor claims it, it cracks and turns dark red.
- Daughter of the Lilies: The Angelic Abomination from Brent's vision has an eye-studded, horn-like halo growing out of its head. It definitely opposes the malevolent Drath, but the main characters are still at a loss as to what exactly it is.
- Grrl Power: Sydney Scoville earned the superheroine name "Halo" from the default position of her artifacts, seven multicolored orbs that orbit above her head in a circle when they are not in use.
- In Kill Six Billion Demons, halos are a manifestation of the bearer's Soul Power and range from a mote of light to a full-body Battle Aura to the usual circular halo, in ascending order of strength and focus. Full halos don’t come together at the front, with the resulting two prongs terminating with a simple design unique to every bearer. The God Emperors have even more distinct ones:
- Mottom's halo looks like gold filigree and sometimes appears to be incorporated into her elaborate outfits.
- Solomon David has a large, purple halo that splits into concentric rings when he manifests his power.
- Gog Agog's halo doesn't hold its shape and appears to be made of a pallid, dribbling goo.
- When Mammon finally gets dangerous, he manifests a large halo of yellow fire to match his Breath Weapon.
- Incubus often limits his halo to a small flame, but it sometimes flares up out of his eyes or forms a trio of stars to match his forehead implants.
- For the Final Battle, Jagganoth's halo transforms into a pillar of fire from his head, throwing off concentric rings.
- The late Meti ten Ryo, who was not one of them but probably had a stronger spirit than any of them, had a white halo that looked as if it had been slashed through.